We are all victims of our own limited thinking
I read an article recently that discussed how the world was adversely affected by marketing and consumerism. One of the lines in it concluded that ‘we are all victims of our own limited thinking’. This line really struck me. It was one of those phrases that kept rolling around and around in my mind as I wasn’t sure that I was very comfortable with it. Are we all ‘victims’ of our own limited thinking? And if that’s true, does it mean that the human race is doomed?
I’ve been thinking about it for a few weeks now and although I am still not completely comfortable with the sentiment, I have come to understand that often, sadly, it is true. When you keep abreast of the news and what is ‘going on’ in the world there are many reports where a group or person has acted on their own ‘limited’ thinking and set in motion a tragic event. It would appear that social media all over the world is littered with people spewing out opinion with ‘limited thinking’, creating bad feeling and a continual thread of hatred for no reason other than they feel everyone has a right to their opinion. Not only is the author a victim of their own limited thinking, but if we listen we do too, as well as those that are offended by the vitriol become victims in a different way.
Most people are so used to dealing with this type of interaction with people that they combat it with indifference. They scroll on. When did we ever become so become so jaded by the limited of thinking of others?
There seems to have become a disconnect between what we say and our relationships with people in general. Our close social networks and the community around us seem to have been distilled into a social media following that has become faceless and ‘blah’. Somehow looking someone in the eye and saying something is a thing of the past, which means many interactions go online and fall into this ‘morality bypass’ category. All of sudden, people we call ‘friends’ become targets of ‘our own limited thinking’, and the remorse it should leave has long gone along with it.
A recent study by the University of Oxford alarming concluded that despite however many friends you have on Facebook and how popular and powerful you feel, only 4 really care about you. Four? Yes, four, the number between three and five – count ‘em! They also added another 15 were close friends, but the rest were … acquaintances. Is it possible that in amongst the constant updates on what a large group of our acquaintances are wearing, eating, attending or political preferences we have lost the ability to care? In this mass of personal opinion, one sided perspective and ‘limited thinking’ of people we hardly know, have we become immune to tact and diplomacy? Have we drowned in a sea of other people egos so much so that we have beached ourselves on the shore of indifference? Our ‘limited thinking’ may not be limited by ignorance or a lack of knowledge, but more by a lack of caring. No one seems to care about what they say any more, its impact or its effect on the world.
It leads me to pose this question; If the words you spoke appeared on your skin –would you still be beautiful?
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that is true. It takes a healthy mixture of experience, knowledge, view, opinion and character to raise a person who knows the value of themselves, but also of other people. This respect creates someone who can look beyond what is being said and value the person who says it. They can listen, and learn and discuss – and become all the better for it. In the digital age some of this ‘village’ can be online, but there is no substitute for physical socialising. The more people you meet and interact with and a human level the more your horizons broaden. Travel places, visit libraries, join clubs, drink in nature, take time with family, be passionate about something local, start something, socialise with friends – do it all! Feed your mind with memories and experiences, then you will find that your ‘limited’ thinking isn’t so ‘limited’.
This life is filled with some wonderful things, but they won’t come to you. You have a responsibility to go out and get it. If you fill your life with things that mean something then it builds up a resilience to other people’s opinion, but more than that, we become a voice of common sense in a sea of ‘limited thinking’. That’s the problem with common sense, it just isn’t so common anymore.
The ‘green’ label has become hijacked by … well, ‘greenists’. But ‘green’ doesn’t really convey the whole aspect of sustainable living. For any community to survive you need to create a feeling of respect, support and inclusion. There really isn’t a place for ‘limited thinking’. We are fast using up the earth’s resources, creating natural disasters and polluting our own living space, but if we all concentrated more on sustainability as a family, community or race we have a chance to make something better than we have had before. And it all starts with respect. Respect and involvement.
I’m still not comfortable with the whole ‘being a victim of our own limited thinking’ because I refuse to become a victim, but I want to be included in those who actively try and broaden their horizons, delight in the differences between each other and respect the world around them. I want to live in community that believes in the power of the goodness of people.
What about you?